The outbreak of the COVID-19 has brought businesses around the world to a standstill, and out of all the economies travel industry has taken the worst hit. Against the pandemic backdrop, uncertainty prevails both tourists and tourism. Now more than ever, updated, reliable and personalized information is the need of the hour.
The only way the travel industry can resume to its original state is by making the experience more customer-centric, or by “Putting people first”.
Apart from emphasizing on tourism’s proven resilience, empathising with effected countries and creating plans, strictly abiding by WHO’s healthcare measures; the travel industry needs to strategically craft the CX of their interfaces to adapt to the ‘New Normal’ and keep business as usual.
Now more than ever, a humane approach to business will resurrect them from the COVID-19 blow. Gone are the days of ‘One-size-fits-all’. Everyone post-pandemic would look for a personalized experience. According to Epsilon’s research, nearly 80% of customers prefer companies which offer personalized experiences.
When harvested properly, personalization can reward with customer engagement and brand loyalty.
According to research, 1 out of 5 people claim to have visited a place they saw on television, and it is not going to go out of fashion any sooner. Recommending popular destinations to the new users offering returning visitors, content based on their history and preferenced can enhance customer retention even more.
Navigation is a big UX issue that the client encounters on site. A user-friendly approach should be a priority option for travel websites. The navigation process across the site should be intuitive frictionless and agile.
Booking.com is an unparallel example in the eCommerce industry that provides multifaceted navigation. The noteworthy accessibility options on this site are a rare sight on many travel websites.
Key Design Elements to Prove Frictionless Customer Experience
With the advent of smart devices, smart calendars are a must-have for every travel website. Days from the previous and following and succeeding month must be easily navigable. Though flexibility has always been a pain to implement in terms of UX, Skyscanner has resolved the problem.
Filters provide a narrowed result specific to the user’s demands. It makes the navigation time-saving and more convenient. WIth results updating realtime based on the filters selected the site encourages users to enter minimal information.
Customers literally hate to sign-in. Signing in should be made optional in order to keep the booking flow undisturbed. When mandatory the user must be provided with enough reasons as to why it is beneficial.
Booking forms are generally lengthy and tend to dispel attention. Varients should be suggested to help the user choose whatever possible and enter minimal by themselves. Field names should be appropriate and short clear instructions to be provided to avoid discrepancies.
Post travel booking, a user’s timeline should be created from where the user can handle the present and upcoming itinerary.
As the entire world is on their smart devices with mobile being a prevalent source, a mobile version of the site is a priority of every travel website. App version of any business has a lot of advantage over the website version. It provides better personalization, easier payment methods and offline modes. Apart from these advantages, users prefer mobile-friendly versions for digital check-ins and keyless entries.
The travel industry has always been topnotch in the game of brand loyalty and customer retention. It is most promising and prosperous yet most competitive in the eCommerce business. Industry leaders have always set high UX standards for travel websites. With these relevant Customer experience design needs, they shall be able to create an even smooth, intuitive, frictionless and agile experience for their users, and resurrect to be glorious again.
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